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Chelsea sack Tuchel



Chelsea sack Tuchel

Chelsea FC has sacked their head coach, Thomas Tuchel, the Premier League club has announced in a statement on Wednesday.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the Club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the Club.

“Tuchel will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.

“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the Club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.

“There will be no further comment until a new head coach appointment is made, the club said.

Tuchel who took over from Frank Lampard in January 2021, guided the club to their second Champions League title just four months later.

He also won the UEFA champions league, Club world cup and Super cup for the club.


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Klopp hails “all-time great” Salah after Liverpool’s win over Brentford



Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

… Sabalenka beats world number one Swiatek to win Madrid title

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp hailed Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian striker’s winner against Brentford on Saturday set a number of milestones.

The win kept the Reds in the hunt for UEFA Champions League football next season.Salah struck from close range in the 13th minute to score for the ninth home game in a row, making it to 30 goals this season.

It was also a century of goals for the Egyptian at Liverpool’s iconic stadium since he joined from Italian Serie A side AS Roma in 2017.

“I think as an offensive player, you need to have this desire to score goals, but a lot of people forget how many goals he sets up.

“So, he’s just always, very, very often involved in the goals,” Klopp told reporters after Liverpool’s 1-0 English Premier League (EPL) win.

“A lot of other players don’t appreciate people enough when they are still playing, and for us, it’s clear he’s an all-time great,” Klopp added.

His side are fifth on the table and still in with an outside chance of making it to the UEFA Champions League next season.They need to keep winning just in case anyone above them slips up.

“It’s probably a little bit more exciting than a few teams wanted for us. It’s good that we could get into that region of the table again.“But we have to make sure that we keep (an eye on) the teams behind us … nothing is decided,” the Liverpool manager said as the season approaches its climax.

“We have three games to go and then, finally, a bit of a longer break, which is very helpful.

“You could see that today —– Brentford had a full week in between their games. We played three days ago.

“It’s a massive difference, especially in the latter stages of the game, (but) the boys got through it, and I’m really happy about it,” Klopp said.

In another development, Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Iga Swiatek 6-3 3-6 6-3 to win the Madrid Open on Saturday.

The win helped to avenge her defeat by the Polish world number one in last month’s Stuttgart final.

Sabalenka produced a great performance to beat Swiatek for the first time on clay.

It did also help to prove that she will be a serious title contender when the French Open begins later this month.

The 25-year-old Sabalenka made things rather uncomfortable for Swiatek from the outset with her aggressive tactics.

She broke the two-time Roland Garros champion’s serve in the eighth game en route to bagging the first set.

Swiatek fought back in the second as she raced into a 3-0 lead before levelling the contest at one set all.

However, Australian Open champion Sabalenka dug in to show that she was no pushover as she opened up a 3-0 lead in the decider.

Swiatek kept everyone on the edge of their seats as she made it 3-3 in a thrilling third set.

Sabalenka then went on to break Swiatek’s serve with a brilliant cross-court forehand before wrapping up the win on her fourth match-point.

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Manchester United Reach FA Cup Final After Shootout Victory Over Brighton



Manchester United Reach FA Cup Final After Shootout Victory Over Brighton

 Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion in a thrilling penalty kicks shootout after their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday finished 0-0 after extra time.

Their victory has now set up the first all-Manchester clash in the final.

Solly March, Brighton’s seventh player to step up to the spot in the shootout, launched the ball over the bar.

Victor Lindelof then found the net to secure a 7-6 shootout victory for Manchester United.

“It felt great,” Lindelof said later. “It was a great relief and we’re glad to be in the final.

“I have confidence in myself and I knew which penalty kick I wanted to take and that’s what I did.”

The nail-biting finale was a fitting ending after 120 goalless minutes of wild swings in a game that careened from end to end all night.

The quality of the penalty kicks in a torrential downpour was superb with Manchester United finding the net with all seven of their kicks.

Brighton’s first six efforts were equally impressive until March fired wildly off target.

“They were great penalty kicks,” Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea said. “I was prepared as always. I tried to put pressure on the takers.

“There’s still a long way to the final but it will be a big game against one of the best teams in Europe and the world.”

Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United, 12-times FA Cup winners, are chasing a Cup double after winning the League Cup in February.

Treble-chasing Manchester City awaits in the final after they beat Sheffield United 3-0 in their semi-final clash on Saturday.

“We showed at home we can beat them (Manchester City). So, let’s hope,” De Gea said.

Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 in the English Premier League (EPL) at Old Trafford on Jan. 14.

“We are on the right track. One trophy, another final and fighting for the top four. It’s not enough, but it’s a big step from last season.”

Sunday’s semi-final was a rematch of the 1983 final when Brighton lost to Manchester United in the south coast side’s only appearance in the showcase game.

It had fans on the edge of their seats at Wembley with numerous chances for both sides to break the deadlock, including several in extra time.

Marcus Rashford’s deflected shot in the extra period was pushed wide by Brighton’s diving goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, and then he fired a long shot that sailed just wide.

Kaoru Mitoma nearly won it for Brighton late in extra time, but collided with De Gea in the box.

“It was a very tight game. We played against a very good team,” De Gea said.

“Brighton plays really good football. We are now in the final but we have another big game on Thursday (against Tottenham in the Premier League). So, we need to go home and recover.”

The loss ended Brighton’s superb run and ended The Seagulls’ hopes of clinching a first-ever major trophy.

The FA Cup final is on June 3 at Wembley Stadium.

– Reuters

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Runaway Leaders Napoli Close on Title With Last-Gasp Win At Juventus



Runaway Leaders Napoli Close on Title With Last-Gasp Win At Juventus

A stoppage-time goal by forward Giacomo Raspadori earned runaway leaders Napoli a 1-0 win at Juventus on Sunday.

The result leaves them on the brink of claiming their first Serie A title since 1990 after the hosts had two goals ruled out following VAR reviews.

Raspadori came off the bench to fire Napoli 17 points clear on 78 points and they could claim their third Serie A championship next weekend if they beat Salernitana and second-placed Lazio fail to win at Inter Milan.

Juventus, who returned to the top four when a 15-point deduction over the club’s transfer dealings was scrapped on Thursday pending a new hearing, remained third on 59 points.

They are two points behind second-placed Lazio who lost against Torino on Saturday.

A goalless first half saw defensive Juventus allowing Napoli to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, awaiting chances to counter-attack.

The approach did not result in many chances for either side and Juve managed only three shots on target.

Napoli’s first attempt of significance came five minutes into the second half from winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia but keeper Wojciech Szczesny did well to keep his low strikeout.

The game sprung to life with 20 minutes left when Napoli came close to taking the lead through striker Victor Osimhen who fired inches wide of the post.

A minute later Osimhen connected with a corner but headed the ball into the arms of Szczesny and soon after this season’s Serie A top scorer sent the ball narrowly over the bar.

Juventus clearly fired up, thought they had taken the lead with a stunning solo effort by Angel Di Maria in the 82nd minute.

The goal was, however, cancelled out after a VAR check for Arkadiusz Milik’s tackle on Napoli midfielder Stanislav Lobotka in the build-up.

Late substitute Dusan Vlahovic then found the net for Juventus in added time but his effort was ruled out as well because the ball left the pitch before Federico Chiesa’s cross.

Napoli then sealed their eighth away league win in a row through Raspadori, who beat Szczesny with a volley following a beautifully lofted cross by midfielder Eljif Elmas.

“I congratulated the team because they played a good game after (Tuesday’s) Champions League exit, which is always dramatic because you have a lot of thoughts and you carry some fatigue with you.

“To do more than that today was difficult,” Spaletti told reporters.

Juventus have suffered their first three-game losing streak in Serie A since 2011 after a 1-0 loss to Sassuolo saw them fall to consecutive league defeats for the first time this term.

They are winless in five of their last six games in all competitions.

“We played a good game against a strong Napoli.

“It wasn’t easy to spend four months in those conditions, finding the energy and concentration to get results,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, referring to their points deduction that was imposed in January. 

– Reuters

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